150-year celebrations begin at St Patrick's High School
Karachi, May 08: The legendary St Patrick's High School Karachi on Friday organized a colourful inaugural ceremony to herald the year-long celebration in connection with the 150 years of the school, which culminates next year on May 6, 2011. More than 1500 people attended the glamorous event which was followed by a fabulous display of fireworks and sumptuous dinner.
The school premises were decorated with fairy-lights and all its majestic buildings gave a fairy-tale look which brought back memories for the many alumni who attended the function. The old boys met with their revered teachers, exchanged and rekindled old friendships and joined the management and students of the school in ushering a full year's celebration.
Earlier, the chief guest His Lordship Evarist Pinto, Archbishop of Karachi, was given an impressive guard of honour by the boys scouts troupe and the school's famous Brass Band. In his opening remarks, the school Principal Rev. Fr. Joseph Paul eulogized the vision and foresight of the founding fathers and elaborated on the multi-faceted sections on campus.
He said: "St Patrick's has produced many distinguished personalities of all ranks and stature, it is a large school catering to all strata of society with more than 5,500 students on its rolls and a staff of 350 dedicated teachers and office managers." He welcomed all guests, including former principals, teachers and ex-students who had turned up in large numbers.
The scrumptious ceremonious cake was then cut by Bishop Evarist Pinto, along with Rev. Fr. Joseph Paul and the Vice Principal Rev. Fr. Norbert Mendonca. Schoolchildren surrounded the cake cutting ceremony and waved sparklers. The Little Shamrocks, an all-boys choir, gave an enchanting rendering of "I have a dream" and "I like to teach the world to sing" - two immortalized songs that conveyed messages of a good future for the school and of love, brotherhood and friendship. This was followed by a video presentation of the history of school prepared by a local television channel.
On the occasion, Archbishop Evarist Pinto congratulated the management of the school and appreciated the progress the institution had made despite the continuing pressure for admissions and room for expansion. He praised the founders of the school and all subsequent priests and teachers who dedicatedly served the institution. Appreciating the arrangements, Bishop Evarist congratulated the organizing team for putting up a grand show and hoped that the school would continue to follow in the footsteps of the motto "Service to God and Country".
The organisers team was led by Jeremy Nazareth who was also the Master of Ceremonies for the evening and did a splendid job. The Shamrockerz - a musical group comprising ex-students gave a remarkable performance of old time favorites in English, a medley which left many old teachers and students swinging to their gyrating beat.
A similar performance in Urdu, a mix of popular songs, was also the highlight of evening. The audience joined in the singing by clapping of hands and cheered the performers.
Two former students Shahid Feroz and Kadir Shajani, the latter, President of the Old Patricians, also spoke on the occasion and paid rich tributes to the school, teachers and the good times they had on campus in their early youth. Shajani said: "I would like to congratulate everyone today who is a Patrician, wherever you are, you have made the school proud by your character, achievements and most importantly, as a good human being - qualities we inherited as students of this great institution." The old boys' network of the school is an expanding group and can be reached at www.theoldpatricians.org
In his vote of thanks, Vice Principal Rev. Fr. Norbert Mendonca thanked the Archbishop of Karachi for gracing the occasion, former principals, vice principals, teachers and ex-students, the performers of the evening, and also had a word of praise for his staff and students who combined well to put up a fine performance. This was followed by the singing of the school song by all those present in the background of a grand fireworks display which brought the ceremony to a befitting close.Your Comments
KU employees stage protest
Karachi: The Employees Welfare Association, University of Karachi (KU) staged a protest demonstration against the atrocities being committed with employees of the Shaikh Zayed Islamic Centre and Biotechnology Departments, here on Friday. They gathered outside the Administration Block of the varsity, raised slogans and then staged a sit-in in front of the Vice-Chancellor's office. They demanded early release of salaries for the employees and asked the government to take action against the fake degree holder employees of KU as per law.
Promulgation of PIDRL demanded
Karachi: In a discussion arranged by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) in collaboration with the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday, prominent labour leaders, former judges, lawyers and representatives of the civil society demanded of the government to immediately promulgate the Provincial Industrial Relations Legislations (PIDRL) and make it a part of the 18th Amendment.
Senior constitutional lawyer and President of the Sindh High Court Bar Association Justice (Retd.) Rasheed A. Rizvi observed that the announcement of the New Labour Policy was included in the ambit of the federal government after the abolition of the concurrent list under the 18th Amendment as labour is now a provincial subject. "It can be a policy statement by the prime minister but it has no legal status after the latest Constitutional amendment. I think we cannot accept this as a labour policy because only provincial governors can issue an ordinance," he said. He added that the federal government could have issued directives in principle as allowed in the Constitution to the provincial governments for making their own policies and labour laws. No effort has been made on provincial level in the advance, he said.
In the joint declaration, the participants welcomed the announcements made in the policy about improving the status of labour including the increase in minimum wage to Rs 7000, increase in some amount under the Workers Welfare Fund and the decrease in retirement age of the coal mine workers to 50 years. They also expressed concern over the neglect of workers and trade union rights in agriculture, fisheries and home based industries.
Senior trade union leader Farid Awan said that the main fault in the labour policy was that it was not made according to the ILO conventions already signed by the Pakistan government. "The prime minister had earlier pledged in the National Assembly that all the labour laws would be made according to ILO Conventions. Pakistan is the only country which has ratified a large number of ILO conventions, but we are also the largest violator of these conventions," he said.
Central Chairman of All Pakistan Trade Union Organization Habibuddin Junaidi recalled that since 1997, all the legislation was made against labour and trade unions. He said that during that period downsizing occurred in a large scale in which almost 1 million employees were removed by both the democratic and non-democratic governments.
Labour leader Noor Mohammad said that the Industrial Relations Act (IRA)-2008 was about to expire on April 30, 2010, but the present govt has not made a serious effort to bring another law and allowed it to be lapsed.
Tahira Ali, Vice Chairperson of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) pointed out that fishermen are not considered as workers under the labour law and there is no mention of fishermen in the New Labour Policy. She added that since most of fishermen were illiterate, they are unaware about the labour laws.
Qamar ul Hassan of IUF Pakistan said that every PPP government worked for the welfare of workers, however, the informal sector workers and govt employees have been ignored in this policy.
Rafiq Ahmed of National Labor Federation said, "All facilities are available to only registered workers, whereas most of the workers particularly in the informal sector do not get appointment letters. Majority of workers are unregistered, so only registered workers would be able to get benefit from this policy."
Shafiq Ghauri of National Trade Union Federation, Manzoor Badayooni of Peoples Labour Bureau and Farhat Perveen of National Organization of Working Communities also spoke on the occasion. Other speakers included Ayoub Qureshi of Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Abdul Shakoor of Karachi Powerloom Workers Union, Rehana Yasmin, and Shafeeq Qureshi. The news